The IAI Science Program, which is under continuous evolution, is based on the wide Science Agenda of the Institute and is aimed at meeting the IAI’s mission. It stems from an integration strategy of the natural and social sciences, in a major interdisciplinary effort towards providing useful scientific information to policy and decision makers in the Americas who work in areas that are somehow related with global change. Funding is mainly provided by the US NSF, although agreements have been signed with science funding institutions in other member countries (CONICET (Argentina), CONACYT (Mexico), FAPESP (São Paulo, Brazil)).
Besides developing its Science Program, the IAI itself applies for research grants and coordinates research projects on specific subjects.
The Collaborative Research Network Program (CRN)
The Third Collaborative Research Network Program (CRN3) (2012-2018) was initiated in November 2012 and is intended to run through 2019 (projects closing on October 2018).The program funds two groups of projects:
a) 10 five-year projects, funded with between US$ 700,000 and 1,000,000, resulted from an initial call for proposals and a second call focusing on Ecosystem Services;
b) 7 smaller projects, funded with between US$ 98,000 and US$ 200,000 for up to 3 years.
Together, these 17 research networks involve 112 investigators in 90 institutions in 15 IAI member countries to address global change phenomena in their societal context in multi-country, multidisciplinary collaborations, while fostering closer links between science and decision making. During the last period, 239 students received scholarships from CRN3 projects, 73 of those funded by IAI. CRN3 researchers mentor these students. 371 students participated in courses promoted by CRN3 projects.
Small Grants Program (SGP)
The Co-funded Small Grants Program: The role of ecosystem services in adaptation to global change for human wellbeing (SGP-HW), fucuses on research questions that are relevant to policy makers or other stakeholders, have strong scientific interest, and address concerns for human wellbeing and livelihoods. Projects are expected to support decision-making and adaptation action in a transdisciplinary approach that promotes using, conserving, restoring, and managing ecosystems so that the natural capital is preserved, while providing important services.
The Small Grants for Collaborative Research in the Americas (SGP-CRA), 2012-2014 was launch to secure the research networks developed under the CRN 2 and allowed them to continue their research of the most novel and innovative aspects of their projects.
The Small Grants for Human Dimensions (SGP-HD), 2007-2011 aimed to promote the research of the human dimensions of global change (theme IV, Human Dimensions and Policy Implications, of the IAI Science Agenda) and was expected to develop strong linkages with projects under the CRN 2 by integrating natural and social sciences. Six projects were originally funded under this program. Five of them have been granted an extension into 2011, based on upgraded workplans.
The two first rounds of the Small Grants Program (SGP 1, 2002-2004 and SGP 2, 2003-2006) were intended to support small research/capacity building/planning activities that in the future would facilitate the development of larger science programs and research networks. It also provided the opportunity of assembling scientists and decision makers into activities aiming at the integration of scientific knowledge applied in the decision making processes of global environmental problems of regional relevance.
Initial Science Program (ISP)
The three rounds of the ISP were intended to augment on-going scientific activities in research, training and education, data and information collection, climate modeling as well as a limited number of workshops. 39 projects were funded under the ISP with a duration of up to three years. The ISP Projects were administered by the IAI Directorate. ISP 1 (1996 – 1999), ISP 2 (1997 – 2000) and ISP 3 (1998 – 2004).
Program to Expand the Scientific Capacity in the Americas
The objective of the Program to Expand the Scientific Capacity in the Americas (PESCA) 2000-2003 was to enable scientists of member countries having low participation in IAI programs and activities to link with projects that were funded under the ISP 3 and the CRN 1.
Start-Up Grant Program (SUG)
The first program of the Institute was the Start-Up Grants Program (SUG) 1996 – 1997, which provided funding exclusively for planning activities for one year. It was designed specifically to allow researchers to come together to write proposals to the CRN Program. The SUG, which supported 36 projects, was administered by the United States National Science Foundation.
Climate change impacts on biodiversity in the Tropical Andes: climate risks, vulnerability and decision making tools for the planning of conservation (2011-2016). This project was funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Land-use change, biofuels and rural development in the La Plata Basin (2008-2011). The project was funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.
An assessment of research and institutional needs to cope with the effects of climate change on Andean biodiversity (2008-2010) This project was funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation